The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a 16-month-long project to resolve the significant under-reporting of unsuitable acts aimed at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in Great Britain.
The Commission, which promotes and enforces the laws that protect everyone’s right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, is now working with LGBT organisations, the government and other agencies to improve recognition, reporting and prevention of these illegal acts. The Commission’s project aims to develop alternative channels for reporting incidents for people and giving more options as well as the official authorities. Furthermore, aiming to give particular attention to rural communities where reporting is especially under-reported.
Equality and Human Rights Commissioner Evelyn Asante-Mensah has said, “Everyone in Britain needs to feel confident and sufficiently empowered to recognise and report incidents. Addressing under-reporting is important to the broader aim of reducing these incidents and creating a fairer and safer society. The commission aims to encourage equality and diversity and promote and protect human rights.” The National Policing Lead for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Challenges, Chief Constable Jane Sawyers, has also said, “All people have a fundamental right to feel safe, secure and confident about themselves.
Many forms of illegal acts aimed at LGBT people are significantly under-reported. The police are committed to a solution and bringing justice. Being done effectively continuing to improve our approach.” The Equality and Human Rights Commission provide information to individuals so that they know what their rights are. They also provide information to organisations such as businesses, schools and public authorities to ensure that they know about their responsibilities under equality law. For example, an employer may contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission to get information so that he ensures that he is treating his employees fairly and in accordance with the law. The commission aims to influence government policy on equality and help shape new equality laws. Also, intending to ensure that equality and human rights remain a priority for the government. The commission monitors the government’s behaviour to ensure that it lives up to its promise to create a fair and equal society.
Interestingly, a recent report found countries that come close to full equality see improved economic development. The study, recently released by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), analysed the impact of the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on economic development in 39 emerging economies. The report found that each additional right a country grants its LGBT citizens equates to a $320 per capita increase in its GDP, about a 3 percent increase in the countries that were studied.
“We are able to make a human rights case, a moral case, it is possible to say of course it matters,’’ said Yana V. Rodgers, a professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies who co-authored the report. “However, sometimes policymakers need numerical and quantitative arguments that more inclusion matters. Here is a report that reduces the numbers and gets LGBT rights to the policy table.’’
LGBT residents make up between 1 and 5 percent of the adult population, according to estimates for the United States and other countries with available data. While other studies have examined the connection between tolerance and economic growth, this is the first report that looks at the connection between legal protections and economic expansion. The authors used an index developed by a Dutch law professor that establishes eight categories of legal recognition and protection for lesbians and gay men to measure inclusiveness.
“This research provides a new window into understanding the extent to which inequality against LGBT people affect a country’s economy,” said, lead author, M. V. Lee Badgett, Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
How might the Commission’s new project help the LGBT community?